Born: December 23, 1940;

Died: May 29, 2020.

JEANIE Lambe, who has died aged 79, was a popular singer from Inverness who enjoyed success in London at the height of the swinging sixties, before focusing on singing jazz with her husband, the renowned English tenor saxophonist, Danny Moss.

In addition to her TV work in the 1960s, she is remembered in Scotland for her brief tenure as singer with the hugely popular trad band, the Clyde Valley Stompers, and for appearances at the Edinburgh Jazz Festival.

Fionna Duncan, who succeeded Lambe as the Stompers’ singer and later heard her in cabaret in London, said: “I thought she had a sound in her voice that was quite American. She had big voice for a wee lassie. I was a bit in awe of her.”

Born Jean Lamb in Glasgow in December 1940, she was the daughter of a couple who were both in showbusiness. Her father, Lyston Morven Lamb (known as Tony), the son of a Church of Scotland minister in Inverness, played accordion in the musical act Douglas, Nicol & Lamb. Her Coatbridge-born mother, Betty (nee McKenna), was – along with her sister Kitty, part of the Morrell Sisters, a popular song-and-dance act on the variety circuit. The McKennas were a musical family: Lambe’s cousins Ted and Hugh McKenna were in The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, and her cousin Mae became a singer. too.

After the war, the family moved to Inverness and it was there, in 1952, that Lambe made her debut on stage with the Morrell Sisters. When she was 18, the fashion for trad jazz was at its peak, and Lambe – billed as “Jean Lamb” – was invited to join one of the top British trad bands, Glasgow’s Clyde Valley Stompers, after their original singer Mary McGowan left to get married in late 1958.

She appeared with the Stompers in Aberdeen at such venues as the Palais and the Beach Ballroom and at Arbroath’s Marine Ballroom, but bandleader Ian Menzies dropped her after just six months.

Fionna Duncan says: “I saw her with the Stompers. She was beautiful, a stunning-looking girl, but she just wasn’t the kind of singer Ian was looking for. He needed another Mary McGowan, and I was nearer her than Jeanie was, so Jeanie was out and I was in.”

Lambe became the featured singer with the Bert McGregor Orchestra at the Marine Ballroom in Arbroath, in December 1959 . She was singing with Alex Sutherland’s sextet at the Two Red Shoes Ballroom in Elgin just after it had just opened in 1960, when she was “spotted” and invited to join the London-based Mike Cotton Band.

She had not long moved down south when, in March 1961, she was called to an audition for Glaswegian jazz trombonist George Chisholm, who needed a singer for three of the songs on his new album, Trad Treat. Lambe turned up with what was one newspaper described as “an almost overpowering head cold” and could not sing a note.

Luckily for her, however, Chisholm had to make an instant decision because the record company wanted to know the names of everyone on the recording that very day, in order to get the sleeve printed. He took a chance on Lambe and she joined George Chisholm’s Tradsters – among them Ayrshire-born Tommy McQuater on trumpet – to sing three blues numbers.

The resulting album received positive reviews, with Lambe described as a promising new find. One review, in the Newcastle Evening Telegraph, may have prompted her decision, around this time, to change the spelling of her surname. The headline read: “Nothing sheepish about this lamb.” A year later, she was on the cover of Jazz News magazine, described as “the Bardot of British Jazz.”

The lines between jazz and pop were considerably more blurred in the 1960s than they are today, and, in 1963, Lambe took part in a two-hour Beatles special for the Light Programme, hosted by Rolf Harris. Other guests included Kenny Lynch, and Joe Brown & The Bruvvers. Her loud, bluesy voice can be heard on a number of catchy but kitsch singles released by CBS in the late 1960s – notably Day After Day After Day and Miss Disc.

She appeared regularly on TV, notably as the resident singer in the short-lived 1968 BBC1 show, At the Eleventh Hour, a satirical revue in which she sang a new song penned by the Kinks’ Ray Davies every week. In 1976, she was a regular on Top Score, BBC1 afternoon show.

Lambe married Danny Moss, a veteran of the Johnny Dankworth and Humphrey Lyttelton bands and worked with him regularly, and, after having appeared at the Festival of Perth in 1984, they moved to Western Australia with their two sons five years later. The couple made annual trips back to Europe to perform at the summer jazz festivals. Together, they recorded three albums, the last of which was The Blue Noise Session for the German label Nagel Heyer, in 1999.

Lambe’s final appearance in Scotland was at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival of 2005 when she performed the first half of an “all-star” tribute to songwriter Harold Arlen in which, according to The Herald’s review, most of those involved ignored the Arlen brief and sang whatever they wanted – mostly, in Lambe’s case, songs which could be found on her latest CD .

Danny Moss MBE died in 2008. Lambe suffered a stroke in 2014 and her health never fully recovered. She is survived by her siblings Margaret and John, along with her sons, Danny Jnr and Robert.